Cristiano Ronaldo was ecstatic after his Champions League hat-trick against Atletico Madrid, insisting “this was why Juventus brought me here”.
Atletico were heavy favourites to progress to the last eight of the competition after winning the first leg 2-0 in Madrid, but Ronaldo’s treble helped complete an unlikely turnaround on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old has won four of the past five Champions League trophies with Real Madrid, and is aiming to be successful in the tournament for a fourth consecutive season.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in a £99.2million deal from Real last summer, said: “This was why Juventus brought me here, to help do things that they have never done before.
“This is the mentality you need to win in the Champions League.
“I just do my work and I’m very happy tonight, it was a magical night. Atletico are always difficult to face, but we are also strong and we proved it.
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“We wanted a special night and it was just that – not only for my goals, but for the entire team. This is the right mentality to play in the Champions League, so we must be proud.”
Ronaldo completed his hat-trick after converting an 86th-minute penalty – but he could land himself in trouble with UEFA after mimicking Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone’s “cojones” celebration.
The Argentine was fined £17,000 by UEFA after grabbing his crotch area in their first leg victory.
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And despite Ronaldo appearing to taunt Simeone with the gesture, the 48-year-old did not have a problem with it.
He said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world, he can put in these performances on big nights.
“He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character.”